Thursday, August 31, 2006

Economy of Identity Theft

I was having a conversation today with a professional colleague and one of my accounts and an interesting discussion occurred.

With the rash of identity theft approaching, if not exceeding, the 100 million point, that means that one in 3 of us had had our identity related information compromised. If we were the thief, would we use the identity information right away and make a quick buck at $2 a pop, or wait.

If we were RBP’s (Really Bad People) like terrorists, and we had the laptop with the 26 million veteran’s data on it, $52 million isn’t a bad score for breaking and entering. Allegedly no one accessed the data, but if I were a bad guy and could make 52 million I would spend whatever I had to for some good bit by bit forensic software to completely copy the drive and leave no trace. The Feds think they have an unaccessed drive and the heat is off.

The other interesting tangent to the discussion was if you break into a college’s system, do you use or sell the identities now, or do you wait 10-15 years when they go from broke college students to having a net worth? Is the identity worth more? Their SSN won’t change, their age, you have an old address, and maybe some other information, only now instead of being approved for a credit card account for $300, you wait and that identity will get you $30,000. You go from scoring a car payment to scoring a car.

Maybe locking down credit access isn’t such a bad thing…


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